[Medical management of libido disturbances in treated hypertensive patients: differences between men and women]

Arch Mal Coeur Vaiss. 2003 Jul-Aug;96(7-8):758-62.
[Article in French]


Decrease in sexual desire is a disturbance affecting treated hypertensive subjects of both sexes. In contrast with erection problems, this abnormality has rarely been studied in hypertensives treated with antihypertensive drugs.

Objectives: To evaluate, using a self-administered questionnaire, the prevalence of sexual disturbance (decrease in sexual desire) in treated hypertensive subjects and to determine the management of these troubles.

Methods: In 428 hypertensive subjects, living in France and referred to hypertension specialists, a self-administered questionnaire evaluating the quality of sexual activity was given before the consultation. Nine specific questions focused on the quality of sexual function for the last 6 months in men or women (interest for sexuality, sexual desire, sexual pleasure). Secondly, the doctors were questioned about their management of these sexual disturbances.

Results: In this population of treated hypertensives, including 270 men and 158 women, with a blood pressure level of 139 +/- 20/84 +/- 13 mmHg, a decrease in sexual desire was reported by 47% of men (127/270) and 48% of women (76/158). Sexual disturbance was related to antihypertensive drugs in 46% of cases (93/203), more often in men (59% [75/127]) than in women (24%, [18/76]), p < 0.001). In subjects with sexual disturbance, a specific medical management has been proposed in 35% of cases (71/203), especially in men (in 46% of cases [58/127], and consisted in a specialized consultation for 34% (43/127) and/or the prescription of Sildenafil for 20% (26/127). In women, the lack of management of these troubles was more often observed than in men (82% vs 54%; p < 0.01). Modifications of antihypertensive treatments were rarely observed in 15% of cases (30/203) comparatively in men and women.

Conclusions: Men and women with treated hypertension are at "high risk" of sexual disturbance. Management of sexual dysfunction in these subjects concerns only 35% of cases, especially men, including specific treatments and/or consultations, but changing in antihypertensive drugs still remains rare.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Libido / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / diagnosis
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / therapy


  • Antihypertensive Agents